Yes, I know, another COVID-19 notice. Believe me, we’ve received many of these notices & letters and we very much appreciate all the steps our Insurance Carriers & Partners are taking during this stressful time.
As small business owners, we understand the stress of owning and operating a business when life is “normal” but this unprecedented era of Covid-19 is a whole new level that we are still struggling to comprehend.
That said, we wanted to reach out regarding some of the common questions and concerns that we are hearing from all of you as well as our industry peers.
Payments & Billing
Many of our carriers have implemented grace periods and billing options for upcoming payments. While some of these changes are being made internally and automatically, many require that you call and ask for this assistance. NOT ALL CARRIERS ARE MAKING THESE ALLOWANCES. I encourage you to call us or call your Carrier directly if you want to discuss this possibility.
Loss Of Income/ Business Income Claims
We understand that businesses are facing some very difficult times and making some very hard decisions. And that in almost every scenario, businesses are facing a severe financial crisis from reduced business operations and/or complete shut downs.
Business Income is a big issue and there is a lot of mis-information and industry discussion surrounding this issue. For example, we are starting to see some agents making unfounded coverage claims as a marketing tool for new business. So is it covered? The long & short answer is: We Don’t Know. Insurance Contracts/Policies are not meant to cover everything and almost all contracts have little-to-no coverage that would kick in and activate coverage for Business Income Losses resulting from COVID-19. However, these are unprecedented times and our industry has never seen a situation such as this. It’s our understanding that many States are already in contact with their Departments of Insurance regarding this topic so it remains to be seen what the final outcome will be. In the meantime, it is our position to neither confirm or deny coverage. We are not the Insurance Carrier and will not make official loss determinations. We leave it up to YOU to decide if you’d like to proceed with filing a claim for Loss of Income. IF you would like to file a claim for Loss Of Income/Business Income, we recommend that you call your Carrier directly for the most expedited processing. You can also call us to get the process started.
Adding Extra Services or Changing Operations
We are seeing many businesses (particularly in the restaurant industry) make changes to adapt and keep revenue streams. We truly appreciate the creativity resulting from this hardship and we LOVE the community support we see as a result. However, please call us if you are making changes! If you decide to add services that are currently NOT included in your Insurance Policy then you may end up in a situation with no coverage. Some of our Carriers are very understanding and are making limited allowances. Some have put together short-term policy packages that would cover a restaurant that wants to add home delivery of all goods and services including liquor! So if you have made a change to your operations PLEASE CALL US.
Unfortunately, regular old claims will still happen! We do ask that you call your claim in directly to your Carrier but we are also here to help if needed. By calling in your claim directly, it’ll get opened and processed much quicker. And most of our Carriers offer resources such as restoration companies that can help! However, if you need help please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have a claim situation.
Carrier Contact Information
Visit our Claims Page to view the contact information for some of our major Carrier(s). Most are available either via phone call or online access 24/7. If you need other Carrier contact information please let us know.
We strongly recommend that you visit your State’s local .gov page for the latest information re: COVID-19. Everyday new information is being released in terms of resources available.
I also encourage you to review the SBA loan guidance to see if this is something that might help your business get through this.
Above all else, we want you to know that we are here and available if you need us. Our families and staff are adjusting to working from home so sometimes it’s a little chaotic but we’ll make it through and help you where we can.
Your McMeel Insurance Agency Team